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Providing Contraceptive Health Services to Adolescents and Young Adults by Telemedicine: A Scoping Review of Patient and Provider Perspectives

      ABSTRACT

      Objective

      The objective of this scoping review is to synthesize and identify gaps in existing research on accessibility of telemedicine-delivered contraceptive health services to female adolescents and young adults (AYAs) and acceptability of these services to AYA patients and their medical providers.

      Methods

      We searched the PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and CINAHL databases to extract relevant studies on telemedicine and provision of contraceptive services among non-institutionalized, non-chronically ill female AYAs, ages 10 through 24 years.

      Results

      We screened 154 articles, and 6 articles representing 5 studies met the full inclusion criteria. Three studies assessed telemedicine acceptability and accessibility from the perspective of providers, and 3 described patients’ perceived accessibility and acceptability of a theoretical telemedicine visit. No studies directly assessed AYA patients’ satisfaction with actual telemedicine visits for contraceptive services. Providers viewed telemedicine-delivered sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services as acceptable to themselves and AYA patients. Most AYAs reported that they would use telemedicine for SRH services, although they would prefer in-person care. All articles identified concerns about privacy and confidentiality as a barrier to SRH telemedicine care.

      Conclusions

      Telemedicine-delivered contraceptive health services for AYAs were perceived as acceptable and accessible by providers and by most AYA patients, although patients reported a preference for in-person care. However, none of these findings are based on patients’ actual experiences with SRH telemedicine. Further research is needed to directly assess the accessibility and acceptability of telemedicine-delivered contraceptive health services for female AYA patients.

      Key Words

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